The following procedures implement Policy No. 8464 directing the identification and reporting of children missing from the educational system, whether by abduction by persons other than the child’s primary caretaker or by parental neglect of the responsibility to ensure the child’s attendance at school.

A. Notification of Pupil Absences and Transfers

1. Parent(s) or legal guardian(s) are requested to notify the school office whenever a child will be absent from a school session, prior to the deadlines established by Regulation No. 5200, B1 and B2.

2. A parent(s) or legal guardian(s) who anticipates a child’s future absence or anticipates that an absence will be prolonged is requested to notify the school in accordance with Regulation No. 5200, B3.

3. A parent{s) or legal guardian(s) who intends to withdraw a child from school shall be asked to designate the school or school district to which the child will be transferred, in accordance with Regulation No. 5130, B2.

B. Identification of Potentially Missing Children

1. Teachers shall record and report attendance in accordance with Regulation No. 5200, H.

2. Teaching staff members shall be alert to parental neglect of the responsibility for the enrollment and attendance of children of school age. A teaching staff member who believes that a child has been removed from school by his/her parent or primary caretaker, however recent the removal, shall promptly report that belief to the Principal.

C. Children Possibly Lost or Abducted

1. The attendance clerk shall daily compile a list of absent pupils and compare that list to the pupils for whom parental notification of absence has been received.

2. The attendance clerk shall attempt to reach by telephone the parent(s) or legal guardian(s) of an absent pupil for whom notification of absence has not been received. Telephone calls will be made to the pupil’s home and to the parent(s) or legal guardian(s) place of work as indicated on the emergency notification form submitted by the parent(s) or legal guardian(s).

3. If a parent(s) or legal guardian(s) cannot be reached by telephone, the Principal shall promptly take reasonable, appropriate steps to locate the absent pupil, including but not limited to,

a. Interviewing other pupils, staff members, and neighbors of the pupil, and the parent(s) or legal guardian(s) and cannot locate the pupil, he/she shall promptly inform the Principal that the pupil may be missing.

b. Visiting the pupil’s home.

4. In the event the attendance clerk cannot reach

5. The Principal shall consider the pupil’s age, maturity, attendance record, and disciplinary history, academic record, and medical history and, if there is reason to suspect that the pupil may be lost or abducted, shall immediately notify the Vernon Township Police Department.

D. Children Missing by Parental Neglect

1. The attendance clerk shall attempt to determine the reason for the absence of any pupil absent ten consecutive school days or more.

2. The attendance clerk shall report a pupil who has been unaccountably absent ten consecutive school days to the Vernon Township Police Department.

3. When a child has been formally withdrawn from the school district but an official request for the child’s records has not been received within ten days of the withdrawal during the school year or within ten days of the withdrawal at the end of the school year, the attendance clerk shall report the child to the Vernon Township Police Department.

E. Report to Law Enforcement Officials

1. The report to the Vernon Township Police Department of an unaccountably absent child or a withdrawn child who has not entered another school system may include:

a. The child’s name, age, gender, and physical description,

b. The child and parent(s) or legal guardian(s) last known home address, and

c. The parent(s) or legal guardian(s) name and work place, if known.

2. The Superintendent shall record in the child’s permanent record in this district the date on which a child was reported in accordance with this regulation and the information released to the Vernon Township Police Department.

3. The Principal and teaching staff members having knowledge of the child shall cooperate fully with the police in their efforts to locate the child.

4. In the event a child believed to be missing is located, the Superintendent shall notify the police immediately.

F. Report by Law Enforcement Officials

1. Vernon Township Police Department pursuant to N.J.S.A. 52:17B-9.8b, shall notify the Superintendent of the school district where a missing child is currently or was most recently enrolled, of the disappearance and provide the Superintendent with information concerning the identity of the missing child. The Vernon Township Police Department shall also notify the Superintendent if the child is located.

2. When the Superintendent is notified of a missing child by the Vernon Township Police Department, the Superintendent shall mark the child’s school record. The mark will be a clearly, identifiable denotation so in the event a copy or information regarding the record is requested, the school district will be aware the record is that of a missing child. Once the Vernon Township Police Department notifies the Superintendent that the child has been located, the superintendent, or designee, will remove the mark from the child’s school record.

3. If a copy of a “marked” school record is requested the Superintendent, or designee, will supply a copy of the record to the requestor, in accordance with Board Policy No. 8330, without alerting the requestor to the fact that the record has been “marked” in accordance with the provisions governing access to pupil records.

4. After supplying a copy of or information regarding the “marked” record, the Superintendent will immediately report the inquiry or any knowledge as to the whereabouts of the missing child to the Vernon Township Police Department.

Issued: 21 April 2005